Ichiro Suzuki let it be known on several occasions that he really enjoyed his time with the New York Yankees, and now it looks like the outfielder intends to stay with the team–even if doing so would mean a pay cut.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Associated Press that Suzuki and the Yankees were in the process of negotiating a free-agent contract deal for the 39-year-old outfielder to stay with the team for at least two more years.
The talks are said to still be in early stages, however. At present, sources indicate that Suzuki is likely to be paid in the neighborhood of $12 million to $13 million. Suzuki reportedly received higher offers from other teams including the Philadelphia Phillies, whom offered him $14 million for two years.
Another source, according to ESPN.com, claimed that an unnamed team even offered Suzuki $15 million, also for two years.
“Neither Yankees general manager Brian Cashman nor Ichiro’s agent, Tony Attanasio, could be reached for comment Thursday night. But according to the source, Attanasio used the recent deals signed by Jonny Gomes ($10 million for two years from the Boston Red Sox) and Shane Victorino ($39 million for three years from Boston) as guidelines for what he would accept from the Yankees.”
The Yankees picked up Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners on July 23, a little over a week from the July 31 deadline. With the Yankees, Suzuki batted .322 with five home runs, and a .388 OBP. Overall, Suzuki’s stats saw a noticeable improvement over his performance during his last tenure with the Mariners.